Seller: ALK Technologies
Requirements: iPhone OS 3.2 or later
Compatibility: iPad 3G
File Size: 1.34GB
Version Reviewed: 188.8.131.52
Age Rating: 4+
An iPad 3G GPS guidance app was inevitable, someone just had to be first. And that someone is CoPilot Live. With an iPad 3G and CoPilot Live HD you not only know where you are, but where you are going.
CoPilot Live has been available for the iPhone for some time, and is an attractive option for a lot of users because of its low price and robust feature set. The most attractive of these features might just be that they update map data every quarter, providing you with the freshest maps available—well, unless you’re Google or something. The North American version has full maps for the USA and Canada, so you don’t have to worry about losing your internet connection if you get lost.
CoPilot doesn’t scrimp on features like you might expect its price to suggest. It has 3D and 2D maps, lane guidance, ClearTurn intersection visualizations to help with complicated intersections, thousands of points of interest and free quarterly map updates. It switches orientation smoothly, can dial POIs for you, can control iPod.app, supports LiveLink to track your location, has weather information, can search for POI online…okay, you get it. It has it all. But this isn’t the review of the iPhone app, so suffice it to say this app has a feature set and level of performance that rivals Appletell-GPS-app-favorite Navigon at a much lower price.
CoPilot Live HD builds off of the already great app for iPhone to make the world’s first turn-by-turn GPS guidance app for iPad. It has all of the same features, but adds that big beautiful iPad screen into the mix. And it does so very well. The maps are rendered with a much higher resolution and look great on screen. The map moves with your location and updates very smoothly with a pretty respectable frame rate. Actually, it’s just as good if not better than any other GPS app available. The iPad’s bigger screen makes it possible to display significantly more information at once. For instance, you can display the map full screen or instead have it be side by side with an extra pane of info. That extra pane can contain various things, but my favorite is to have the upcoming directions in text form be displayed. So you can know where you’re going and how you’re getting there without losing the real time map display. Honestly, that’s probably my favorite feature of the iPad app.
The only missing features in my opinion is Live Traffic data, and they say it’s on the way for an additional price. And there aren’t too many problems with the app either. Navigating to a contact’s address doesn’t always work, especially if a street name is at all ambiguous. I couldn’t get it to navigate me home. But after a little tinkering, finding the correct address for just about anything can be done. Also, it could be smoother.
The only other thing I could find is actually more of an annoyance than a real problem, and you’ll likely never experience it. If you have the iPhone and iPad apps, you have to log into them with separate CoPilot IDs, which have to be created with separate email addresses. They say that this is so they can enable a feature called LiveLink. This broadcasts your location to friends while you’re using CoPilot Live. But I don’t see why this feature couldn’t be tied to an individual iDevice, not a specific email address.
But there’s an elephant in this room, so I’d better talk about it: the iPad. It’s huge. Where are you going to put this thing? Well, there are car mounts available, and Scosche is even making a car audio 2 DIN dock to replace your car’s head unit. As much as I think using the iPad as a GPS isn’t that much of a hazard or distraction, I’m not sure how many people will actually buy mounts. You might be better off just having a passenger hold the iPad and help you with directions. But again, that doesn’t seem like the best way to use this app. So I guess you really have to think about how you’re going to use this app before buying it.
If you decide that despite it’s size you’re still going to use it, then great, buy this app, because it won’t disappoint. But good luck trying to figure out where to put the iPad.
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